|Publication number||US5334073 A|
|Application number||US 08/109,868|
|Publication date||Aug 2, 1994|
|Filing date||Aug 20, 1993|
|Priority date||Feb 7, 1992|
|Publication number||08109868, 109868, US 5334073 A, US 5334073A, US-A-5334073, US5334073 A, US5334073A|
|Inventors||Neil Tilbor, Anthony R. Garr, Jean Newton, Salvatore Mucaro|
|Original Assignee||Tyco Investment Corporation|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (21), Non-Patent Citations (19), Referenced by (39), Classifications (13), Legal Events (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This is a continuation of application Ser. No. 07/832,563, filed Feb. 7, 1992, abandoned.
The present invention relates to a toy figure and, more particularly, a figure simulating a crash dummy where the appendages of the dummy are removable.
In the toy field, there exists a need for toy figures having unique and novel features which appeal to children. Further, toys having a dual purpose, e.g., amusement and education, are popular with both children and adults. Moreover, the toy figure must be easily assembled and have a relatively inexpensive manufacturing cost.
Various toy figures having movable or detachable appendages have been disclosed in the prior art. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,118,888 discloses an articulated magnetic doll with removable appendages. The appendages are attached to joined portions on first and second armature plates which are held by a magnet. Contained within the doll is a spring-loaded firing mechanism actuated by a lever, which causes the forward discharge (under the urging of a spring) of the first or lower portion of the arm appendage as a projectile. The appendage or projectile is held in the arm by a disc which is engaged by a latch.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,125,961 discloses a doll with movable arms, legs and head in which a coil spring within an arm is initially compressed by the arm end portion and then placed in tension by a lever. The actuation of the lever causes the ejection of certain movable parts on the toy doll. When ejected, movable parts on the toy (the lower arm portion) are projected forward by the force of the coil spring.
U.S. Pat. No. 3,724,125 discloses a doll with a push-button actuator. The limbs of the doll are attached to a torso comprised of front and back halves where the actuation of the push button causes the limbs which are attached to the torso with strings to relax or to move. Whether the limbs relax or move upon actuation of the push button depends upon the previous position of the limbs.
U.S. Pat. No. 3,277,602 discloses a toy figure or doll having movable joints. The joints on the doll contain both a pin and a radial slot. The lower portion of a leg, for example, is pivotable around the pin in the joint and rotatable around a radial slot in order to simulate the movement of human limbs.
U.S. Pat. No. 3,425,153 is a toy doll where a limb of the doll is actuatable and removable. When pressure is applied to a designated portion on the exterior of the doll, one of the arms of the doll is rotated forward. The arm that is rotatable may also be removed from the doll upon removing the screw which attaches the arm to the torso of the doll.
Briefly stated, the present invention comprises a toy figure having a torso with a plurality of openings at appendage locations and a plurality of individual appendages. Each appendage has a connector at one end received in at least one of the torso openings. The toy figure further comprises a detent member within the torso associated with each opening receiving and retaining in the torso the connector which is received in the opening. Biasing means for biasing each connector received in any of the torso openings out of the receiving opening are also present. An actuator is present in the torso and is coupled with at least two of the detent members so as to simultaneously move at least two of the detent members and release any connectors being detained by any of the detent members.
The foregoing summary, as well as the following detailed description is better understood when read in conjunction with the appended drawings. For the purpose of illustrating the invention, an embodiment which is presently preferred is shown in the drawings. It is understood, however, that this invention is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentality shown. In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a toy figure in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the toy figure taken along line 2--2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a partially broken away front elevational view of the toy figure;
FIG. 4 is a rear elevational view of the toy figure with a rear torso cover removed;
FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of a first component of the ejectment mechanism;
FIG. 6 is a rear elevational view of the first component of the ejectment mechanism;
FIG. 7 is a front elevational view of a second component of the ejectment mechanism;
FIG. 8 is a rear elevational view of the second component of the ejectment mechanism;
FIG. 9 is a side elevational view of the ejectment mechanism;
FIG. 10 is a elevational, cross-sectional view of an arm appendage connector and of the shoulder appendage opening in the torso of the toy figure; and
FIG. 11 is an elevational, cross-sectional view of a leg appendage connector and of the hip appendage opening in the torso of the toy figure.
Certain terminology is used in the following description for convenience only and is not limiting. The words "right," "left," "lower" and "upper" designate directions in the drawings to which reference is made. The words "inwardly" and "outwardly" refer to directions toward and away from, respectively, the geometric center of the toy figure and designated parts thereof. The terminology includes the words specifically mentioned above, their derivatives and words of similar meaning.
Referring to the drawings in detail, wherein like numerals indicate like elements throughout, there is shown in FIG. 1 a view of a preferred embodiment of a toy figure in accordance with the present invention, which is generally designated as element numeral 10. FIGS. 2-11 show various views of the components of the toy FIG. 10.
Referring now to FIG. 1, the preferred toy FIG. 10 of the present invention is human-like in appearance and includes a torso 12 having five appendage openings 13 which are seen in various figures and are located at the neck, either opposing shoulder region and either opposing hip region of the torso 12, through which are connected the following appendages: a head 14, a left arm 16, a right arm 18, a left leg 20 and a right leg 22.
The left arm 16 includes a forearm 24, an elbow 26 and an upper arm 28. The forearm 24 is hingeably connected to the elbow 26 through a transverse hinge pin 30. The elbow 26 is rotatably connected to the upper arm 28 by a pin-type axial connector 31. Right arm 18 mirrors the left arm 16. Each of the upper arms 28 is connected to the torso 12 by a pin-type connector 29a only a portion of which can be seen in FIG. 1 and which will be described in more detail below.
The left leg 20 of the toy FIG. 10 includes a lower leg 32, a knee 34 and an upper leg 36. The lower leg 32 is hingeably connected to the knee 34 through a transverse hinge pin 38. The knee 34 is rotatably connected to the upper leg 36 by a pin-type axial connector 39. The upper leg 36 is connected to the torso 12 of the toy FIG. 10 by a pin-type connector 29b, again only partially seen in FIG. 1. Right leg 22 mirrors left leg 20. Head 14 includes a connector 29c. The toy FIG. 10 further includes an upper actuator button 40 and a lower actuator button 42 located along the front vertical midline of the torso 12.
It is preferred that the elements and their components of the toy FIG. 10, with the exception of any hinge pins or spring wires (which are preferably constructed of a metallic material, such as spring steel) be constructed of a polymeric material. Specifically, it is preferred that the polymeric materials be polyvinyl chloride (PVC), acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) resin, high-impact polystyrene (HIPS) and/or acetal resin. These polymeric materials provided the toy FIG. 10 with a tough, rigid thermoplastic exterior and rigid, durable and lightweight components. However, it is understood by those skilled in the art that the above-mentioned elements and components could be constructed of other polymeric materials or materials having like qualities, such as, for example, polycarbonate, without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
Preferably, the above-mentioned elements and components of polymeric material of the toy FIG. 10 are formed by standard molding processes as understood by those skilled in the art. However, it is also understood by those skilled in the art that other materials and processes could be used to construct the elements of the toy FIG. 10, such as machining.
Referring now to FIGS. 2-4, in a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the torso 12 of the toy FIG. 10 includes a front shell 44 having an upper circular opening 48 and a lower circular opening 50 located along the vertical midline of the front shell through which outwardly extend the upper actuator button 40 and the lower actuator button 42. The torso further includes a back torso shell 46. The front torso shell 44 and the back torso shell 46 each include semicircular peripheral edge openings located in the hip, shoulder and neck area of both of the torso shells. When the torso shells 44, 46 are mated together, the semicircular openings on each of the torso shells align to form, in part, the five openings which include two mirror-image circular shoulder openings, two mirror-image circular hip openings and a single circular neck opening.
Referring now to FIG. 10, the arm connector 29a preferably is generally hexagonally cylindrical in shape and includes a hexagonal head 37a which is attached to the upper arm 16, for example by embedment, such that the remainder of the connector extends outwardly from the appendage. The connector 29a preferably further includes a hexagonal shank 31a, a groove 33a circumscribing the connector and a beveled hexagonal tip 35a, the vertices of the tip being about thirty degrees out of phase with the vertices of the shank 31. Preferably tip 35a has a greater maximum outer diameter than that of shank 31a. FIG. 11 shows the connector 29b used for the legs 20, 22 which preferably includes hexagonal shank 31b, circumferential groove 33b and beveled hexagonal tip 35b. Preferably, the hexagonal shank 31b has a maximum outside diameter greater than that of the beveled tip 35b. A circularly cylindrical connector 29c seen in FIGS. 2-4 is used for the head and includes a cylindrical shank with annular groove 33c and beveled tip.
Referring to FIGS. 2-9, an appendage holding/ejectment mechanism 70 is located inside the torso 12, which is itself preferably formed by the torso front shell 44 and the torso back shell 46. The mechanism 70 includes a spring housing 72 and a cover 74. Preferably, the spring housing 72 and the cover 74 are constructed of ABS and are connected together through one or more ultrasonic weld beads (not shown). Further included within the mechanism 70 are an arm and head release button 76, a leg release button 78, two arm and leg load springs 80, a head load spring 82, an arm and head hold spring 84 and a leg hold spring 86.
The spring housing 72 includes a front (inner) face 88, a rear (outer) face 90, seen in FIGS. 7 and 8, respectively, with integrally molded lateral upright members 89 and 91. Located on the front face 88 is an upper groove 92 horizontally traversing the housing 72 at the base of the lateral upright members 89 and 91. Holding tab 93 is located below a lower horizontal groove 104 on the inner front face. Two lower cross ribs 94, 95 and an upper cross rib 96 extend between the upright members 89, 91. Located on the outer rear face 90 of spring housing 72 are inner, facing support tabs 95a and outer, opposing support tabs 95b.
Preferably, arm and head hold spring 84 is a one-piece torsional spring, made from music wire. The arm and head hold spring 84 preferably includes four parallel, upwardly extending portions of substantially equal length located at an outer left 98a, left center 98b, right center 98c and outer right 98d regions of the spring 84. Connecting the lower extremity of the outer left 98a and left center 98b portions is a left horizontal portion 100a. Attached to the lower extremity of the right center 98c and outer right 98d portions is a right horizontal portion 100b. Attached to an upper extremity of the right center 98c and left center 98b portions is a center horizontal portion 100c. Preferably, all of the horizontal portions are of equal length. The center portions 98c and 98b are bent forwardly at a ninety degree angle and again laterally towards one another adjacent to their connection with the center horizontal portion 100c. The horizontal portions 100a, 100b of the arm and head hold spring 84 are located within the upper groove 92 of the spring housing 72. The center portions 98b and 98c are located between the lower and upper cross ribs 94, 96 and the inner support tabs 95a. The upwardly extending outer portions 98a, 98d of the arm and head hold spring 84 rest in front of the outer support tabs 95b.
The leg hold spring 86 is preferably a one-piece torsional spring made of music wire. The leg hold spring 86 is preferably generally U-shaped having a horizontal portion 106 connected between two inwardly biased, downwardly extending members 108, 109. The horizontal portion 106 of the leg hold spring 86 is located within the lower groove 104 of the spring housing 72 and rests on the holding tab 93. Legs 108, 109 generally parallel tapering sides of a lowermost portion 72a of housing 72.
The cover 74 of the mechanism 70 includes an outer, front face 110 and an inner, rear face 112, best seen in FIGS. 5 and 6, respectively. Cover 74 further includes an upper circular aperture 120, a lower circular aperture 122, a head opening 114, left and right arm openings 116, 117 and left and right leg openings 118, 119. The head opening 114 is circular in shape. The arm openings 116, 117 and leg openings 118, 119 are of a composite shape where the back, inner half of each opening is semicircular, while the front, inner half remainder of the opening is partially hexagonal, preferably having three planar faces. The cover 74 further includes on the inner rear face 112 a pair of spring hold tabs 124 and a pair of spring hold apertures 126 extending through the cover.
Preferably, the arm and leg load springs 80 and the head load spring 82 are torsional springs, each made from music wire, all of their portions being contiguous. The head load spring 82 is generally inverted U-shaped having a central, generally horizontal portion 60 connected between two downwardly extending portions 62, 63, each of which is bent outwardly at a ninety degree angle adjacent to its extremity. The extremities are located in the spring hold apertures 126 of the cover 74 while the horizontal member 60 of the head load spring 82 is located directly below the head opening 114 of the cover to provide a biasing means for biasing a connector 29 out of the head opening 114.
Each of the two, identical arm and leg load springs 80 includes an upwardly extending portion 81 and a downwardly extending portion 83 joined by a horizontal portion 85. The horizontal portions 85 of the springs 80 are held in place on the left and right sides of the cover 74 by the spring hold tabs 124 and opposing bosses in the cover. The upper extremity 128 and the lower extremity 130 of each of the load springs 80 extend into a central area of the arm openings 116 or 117 and the leg openings 118 or 119 of the cover 74, respectively, providing a biasing means for biasing a connector 29 out of the openings.
The arm and head release member 76 is indicated in FIG. 6 in phantom. It includes a cross member 132 having a central raised circular cylinder-like button 76a, which extends through the cover 74 and projects outwardly from the vertical midline of the front face 110 of the cover 74 through opening 120. The cross member 132 includes tabs 134 at its opposing lateral ends. The leg release member 78 includes a cross member 136 having a central section from which a raised circular cylinder-like button 78a extends through the cover 74 and projects outwardly from the vertical midline of the front face 110 of the cover through opening 122. The cross member 136 includes tabs 138 at its opposing lateral ends.
The cover 74 preferably further includes a post 140 extending from the rear face 112 while the spring housing 72 includes a sleeve 142 in inner front face 90 sized complementary to the post 140 to mate with post 140. When the mechanism 70 components are assembled, the rear face 112 of the cover 74 is in facing opposition to the front face 88 of the spring housing 72. The post 140 of the cover 74 is mated with the sleeve 142 of the spring housing 72 providing the mechanism 70 with two faces, a front one being the cover front face 110, a rear one being the spring housing rear face 90. Disposed between the spring housing 72 and the cover 74 are the two, mirror arm and leg load springs 80, the head load spring 82, the arm and head hold spring 84, the leg hold spring 86 and the cross members 132, 136.
The arm and head release cross member 132 is located in front of and in engagement with the upwardly extending portions 98a, 98b, 98c and 98d of the arm and head hold spring 84. The cross member tabs 134 engage the outer portions 98a and 98d of the arm and head hold spring 84 while the body of member 132 engages center portions 98b and 98c. The extremities of the outer 98a and portions 98d of the arm and head hold spring 84 extend into and through the arm openings 116, 117 to provide arm detents. The center horizontal portion 100c is located below the head opening 114 to provide a head detent.
The tabs 138 of leg release button cross member 136 are located in front of and in engagement with the downwardly extending portions 108, 109 of the leg holding spring 86. The extremities of the downwardly extending portions 108 extend into and through the leg openings 118, 119 to provide leg detents.
Located between the arm and head release button cross member 132 and the cover rear face 112 are the upwardly extending portions 81 of the arm and leg load springs 80. Located between the leg release button cross member 136 and the cover rear face 112 are the downwardly extending portions 83 of the arm and leg load springs 80.
Referring to FIG. 2, the upper actuator button 40 has a rear face which is in engagement with the arm and head release member button 76a. The lower actuator button 42 further includes a tongue 43 extending downwardly between shell 44 and mechanism 70 having a rear surface 45 which is in facing engagement with the leg release member button 78a.
In use, the arm 16, 18, leg 20, 22 and head 14 appendages are connected to the torso assembly 12. The connector 29a, b or c located on each of the appendages is inserted into the appropriate appendage opening in the torso 12 and then into the respective head opening 114, arm openings 116, 117 or leg openings 118, 119 of the mechanism 70.
The beveled tip 35 of each connector 29a and c of the arms 16, 18 and the head 14, respectively, rearwardly biases by a camming action the detents located within the arm openings 116, 117 and head opening 114 and formed by spring portions 98a, 98d and 100c, respectively. Additionally, the beveled tip 35 of each of said connectors inwardly biases the extremities 128 of the upwardly extending members 81 of the arm and leg load springs 80. The connector 29c of the head 14 downwardly biases the horizontal member 60 of the head load spring 82.
As the beveled tip 35 of the connector 29a or c is further inserted into the arm or head openings 116, 117 or 114, respectively, the camming action is completed and the arm or head detents are then forwardly biased by the torsion of the arm and head hold spring 84 and engage the groove 33a or c of the respective connector 29a and c, securely attaching the arm(s) 16, 18 and/or head to the torso 12.
The beveled tip 35b of each connector 29b of the legs 20, 22 rearwardly biases by a camming action the leg detents located within the leg openings 118, 119 and provided by spring portions 108, 109. Additionally, the beveled tip 35 of said connector 29b inwardly biases the extremities 130 of the downwardly extending members 83 of the arm and leg load springs 80.
As the beveled tip 35b of the connector 29b is further inserted into the leg openings 118, 119 the camming action is completed and the leg detents formed by spring portions 108, 109 are then forwardly biased by the torsion of the leg hold spring 86 and engage the groove 33b of the connector 29b, securely attaching each of the legs 20, 22 to the torso 12.
Attachment of the arm 16, 18 and leg 20, 22 appendages to the torso 12 results in a loose facing engagement of the hexagonal shank 31a or 31b of the connector 29a or 29b with the partially hexagonal surface of the arm openings 116, 117 or leg openings 118, 119 respectively. This configuration allows a user of the toy FIG. 10 to fixedly position these limbs at various angles with respect to the torso 12. This assists greatly in being able to pose the figures in an upright pose and having the figure maintain the pose.
When a user of the toy FIG. 10 desires to eject the appendages, a force is applied to one or both of the upper actuator button 40 and the lower actuator button 42. If the force is applied to the upper actuator button 40, the rear face of the button 40 engages the cylinder 76a of the arm and head release member 76 rearwardly moving the cross member 132. Rearward motion of the cross member 132 rearwardly biases the outer 98a, 98d and center 98b, 98c upwardly extending portions of the arm and head hold spring 84 such that the arm detents and head detent defined by the ends and central horizontal portion of that spring disengage from the groove 33a and c of the connector 29a and c of each of the arms 16, 18 and the head 14. An outward biasing of the upper extremity 128 of each of the two arm and leg load springs 80 occurs against the beveled tip 35a of each of the arm connectors 29a resulting in an outward ejectment of the arms 16, 18. Concomitantly, an upward biasing of the horizontal member 60 of the head load spring 82 occurs against the beveled tip 35b of the head connector 29c resulting in an upward ejectment of the head 14.
When the user applies a force to the lower actuator button 42, the rear surface of the tongue 43 engages the cylinder 78a of the leg release member 78 causing a rearward motion of the cross member 136. Such motion of the cross member 136 rearwardly biases the downwardly extending portions 108, 109 of the leg hold spring 86 such that the leg detents formed by the extremities of those portions disengage from the groove 33b of the connector 29b of each of the legs 20, 22. An outward biasing of the lower extremity 130 of each arm and leg load spring 80 occurs against the beveled tip 35b of each connector 29b resulting in an outward ejectment of each of the legs 20, 22.
It is appreciated by the ordinarily skilled artisan that the presently claimed invention may include other components which are equivalent to those discussed specifically above. For example, the present invention includes biasing means for the detainment of and ejection of the appendages. If desired, biasing equivalents such as other types of springs or spring linkages, compressible foams or other elastomeric materials can be used. Detents can be formed with means other than springs, such as movable rigid members operated by appropriate lever(s) and/or linkage(s). Also, one of ordinary skill will be able to modify the preferred designs to release, for example, one arm and one leg by one button and the remaining arm and leg by a remaining button. The head might be released by only one of the two buttons, either button, or not released at all. Further, different connector configurations and limb/torso configurations, for example animal-like configurations, may be employed in the present invention.
From the foregoing description, it can be seen that the present invention comprises a toy FIG. 10 having movable, poseable and multi-ejectable appendages. It is recognized by those skilled in the art that changes may be made to the above-described embodiment of the invention without departing from the broad inventive concept thereof. It is understood, therefore, that this invention is not limited to the particular embodiment disclosed, but is intended to cover all modifications which are within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
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|US20140315468 *||Apr 18, 2014||Oct 23, 2014||Tito Vasquez||Character-Based Electronic Device, System, and Method of Using the Same|
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|U.S. Classification||446/308, 446/382, 273/380, 446/4|
|International Classification||A63H13/02, A63H3/46, A63H3/16|
|Cooperative Classification||A63H3/16, A63H13/02, A63H3/46|
|European Classification||A63H13/02, A63H3/46, A63H3/16|
|Jul 1, 1994||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: NATIONSBANK OF NORTH CAROLINA, N.A., AS AGENT, NOR
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:TYCO INVESTMENT CORP. C/ TYCO TOYS, INC. 6000 MIDLANTIC DRIVE MOUNT LAUREL, NEW JERSEY 08054;REEL/FRAME:007022/0203
Effective date: 19921002
|Mar 2, 1995||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: GENERAL ELECTRIC CAPITAL CORPORATION, AS AGENT, CO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT FOR SECURITY (PATENTS);ASSIGNOR:TYCO INVESTMENT CORP.;REEL/FRAME:007365/0464
Effective date: 19950224
|Oct 15, 1996||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: TYCO INDUSTRIES, INC., NEW JERSEY
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:TYCO INVESTMENT CORP.;REEL/FRAME:008186/0352
Effective date: 19960625
|Nov 20, 1997||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Dec 28, 2001||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|Feb 2, 2006||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 12